Buccaneers go down in a local derby thriller

The Yamba Buccaneers and Iluka Cossacks have played a thrilling match to open the Far North Coast Rugby Union President’s Cup competition in Iluka on Saturday.

In a typically willing game, Iluka came out on top 25-23 after a converted try in the last three minutes of the game.  Buccaneers President Adrian Miller said the match had been close all day. “Iluka played some good rugby and arguably were the better team for longer periods, but our guys do feel a bit hard done given they scored so late,” he said. “We had played really well to come back after trailing early, but we’re incredibly disappointed to lose.”

Miller said he was proud of the team’s efforts. “Two weeks ago we were struggling for numbers, but we had a full squad on Saturday and showed some glimpses of really good rugby,” he said. “Two of our best players, Nathan Hollis and Joel Imeson, were Buccaneers juniors making their senior debuts, while Phillip Perata, Terry Hill and James Hawley, another three Buccaneers’ debutants, were also excellent.” Miller said there were some positives to come from the game.

“While some aspects of our game were awful, particularly our fitness and the lineouts, we showed enough to suggest we’re capable of playing good rugby,” he said. “I think we’ll be a pretty good side before the end of the season.” The Buccaneers play last year’s premiers, Byron Bay, in Yamba on 17 April. Kick off at 3pm.